Foreclosures on the rise in Richmond

Foreclosures have been rising in the Richmond Va area according to a news report from NBC 12:

Home foreclosures are rising in Greater Richmond. They were up 50 percent this spring over last spring. One in 460 homes is receiving foreclosure notices. But there are some lesser known options to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

At the same time, we’ve been seeing increasing buzz about foreclosure fraud. Folks being unfairly or unjustly foreclosed upon due to faulty paperwork by the mortgage servicer or lender.

The number of foreclosures have been increasing just as we’re learning about flagrant process violations by lenders and servicers:

Bank of America Corp. said yesterday that it would stop foreclosures in all 50 states, extending its probe into whether officers signed off on sales without verifying information.
Last week, the Charlotte, N.C.- based bank said it would freeze foreclosures in 23 judicial states where foreclosures must be approved by a judge.
Virginia is a nonjudicial state, so it wasn’t affected in the first round of closings. As a nonjudicial state, foreclosures can move quickly through the system, typically in 60 to 90 days. Foreclosures in judicial states can take nine months or more.
Also yesterday, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. of Pittsburgh said it would stop foreclosures and evictions for one month to check on compliance with state laws, marking the fourth major U.S. lender to take action.
Ally Financial’s GMAC Mortgage unit and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have announced similar moves in the past two weeks.
It’s unclear what the effect of the freeze will be on an already fragile housing market.

Are the two related? Housing counselors and legal aid organizations across Virginia have been seeing this faulty paperwork for a while. Because Virginia is a non-judicial state, faulty foreclosures were easily able to move through the system without anyone taking a second look.

The big question is, exactly how rampant is it. Finding these numbers is critical if we are going to do something about actually fixing these problems.


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